The compass is one of our oldest devices to help us find our way. Even when conditions change, a compass lets us orient ourselves. It helps guide us home.  That’s why Vanderbilt University Medical Center uses the compass to describe our strategy for the future.

The Four Directions

Our compass identifies four “strategic directions” or themes.  It allows us to adapt as we learn or as things change. It allows us to measure – and speed up – our progress.  The four strategic directions are:

Design for Patients and Families
Discover, Learn and Share
Make Diversity and Inclusion Intentional
Amplify Innovation

The compass begins with our aspiration as a medical center:

Through the exceptional capabilities and caring spirit of its people, Vanderbilt will lead in improving the healthcare of individuals and communities regionally, nationally and internationally. We will combine our transformative learning programs, compelling scientific discoveries, and distinctive personalized care to foster the health of all people.

Simply put, we have extraordinary people doing exceptional things. We are leading the way to improve the health of our communities, near and far. We can do this in a way few others can because we combine science, training of healthcare professionals and patient care. 

Our compass also makes the most of “distinctive capabilities.” These capabilities are strengths we have because we are an academic medical center with a team of over 20,000 people engaged with the community.   These are our strengths we will leverage and grow:

  • Collaborative culture
  • Leadership in clinical care
  • Basic and translational research
  • Learning as a core competency
  • Personalized medicine
  • Population health